War of the False Primarch
A conflict fought eighty years in M33, heavily embelished by myself. Due note this is taking obscure chapters, homebrew chapters, and a relatively unknown conflict and plastering it together into a fan work, chapters like the Desert Lions, Absolvers and such are known in M41 as loyalists in canon, and I intend to remain faithful to that. Due note this isn't an attempt to be THE NEXT Black Library, this is a cluster of my headcanon for the conflict. We know how many chapters fought, what happened and roughly where it took place judging by the subsequent conflict of the Hellion War - which was a system affected by the WotFP and rebelled later on after it. The key concepts I kept while writing was;
- 11 Chapters rebelled and destroyed.
- The Pentarchy of Blood is formed for the purpose of destroying the chapters and their homeworlds.
- The sector which the war takes place in is decimated.
- This war was covered up after the end, which I used to try make it more scandalous to show WHY it was covered up, in my opinion.
For those wondering about the structure, it's literally just where I stopped and started writing, the roman numerals are just to cover rough arcs.
I - Origins through Flame
The False Primarch - or the Second Son, as his followers would come to hail him as - was no mere Astartes turned renegade, no delusional Chapter Master seeing himself as one of His blood, but rather by circumstance, as sixty years prior to the war itself, a Blackshield Space Marine, clad in scraped armour emerged from the Warp outside the world of Augustine III, a mostly barren wasteland and forgotten sister to the Hive and Forge worlds of Augustine Secondus and Augustine Primus, respectively. The world was serving as the site for a battle between a minor greenskin incursion and the Knights Resplendent, and the Blackshield spared no time in intervening. With the now infamous power maul Starbane in his hands, the False Son lay into the orks now legendary skill at arms, decimating the elites of this horde and sending it routing to be purged by the Knights. The chapter understandably was weary of their newfound ally, but a meeting between Chapter Master Arctel Dumont and the Blackshield would change the course of the Augustine System forever.
I - Dark Oaths, Dark Words
Arctel would emerge from his meeting with the Blackshield mystified, perhaps rightly so, by this odd saviour, as reports say the sheer presence and charisma of this displaced Astartes would overwhelm the will of Master Dumont, and see to the Knights Resplendent pledging loyalty to this supposed wayward son of the Emperor - this is believed to be the first instance of the False Primarch being named as one of His sons directly. The chapter’s oath would be soon joined by two other chapters; the Brazen Minotaurs and Absolvers. The triumvirate of chapters would rather effortlessly seize control of the Augustine System, along with a dozen more systems around it, effectively taking over the Palatine Sector in Segmentum Pacificus. In addition the three chapters would add the Desert Lions and Emperor’s Shadows. The False Primarch would rally five chapters to the world of Augustine Primus - a Forge World capable of producing all the war materiel needed to supply the five chapters along with additional auxiliary forces. The crusading Knights Resplendent would base on Augustine III. To the wider Imperium, the movement of these chapters was not deemed abnormal, as operations in a sector on the border of a minor Greenskin Empire are expected to be of higher emergency. By the end of the shift of control from local Imperial governor to the authority of the False Primarch, three more chapters had joined the cause; the Knights’ Standfast, Scions of Kelinar, and Guardians of Linaur, which were native to the Palatine Sector, having homeworlds in the Holtuston, Britunar and Conaeries systems respectively. Official records show that three more chapters would be destroyed, all at roughly half strength so it can be speculated unsanctioned foundings took place in the time before the start of the war, or that these chapters were in fact warbands of followers of the Chaos Gods. The number of the renegade army at this point ranged from 8,000 to 11,000 though after many years of careful planning and deliberation the plot would be revealed in the fires of an early war.
I - The Purge, the Secret revealed
Echoing the betrayal of Horus, the False Primarch would enact a series of purges throughout his new ‘Legion’, the coalition of chapters being subsequently wiped of disloyal officers, veterans and other specialists.
These would either be simply killed for a false account of treason, or sent on suicide missions into the Halo Stars, though the waste of ship and bolt on these doomed expeditions was never questioned by the new cadre of officers loyal to the Primarch. In estimate, according to the memoirs of a survivor of the loyalist elements of the Emperor's Shadows, approximately 1,400 Astartes went missing from the total might of the eleven chapters, a large portion of which made up the veteran squads of the chapters. Speculation leads that the lack of professional Astartes and the ease of which the Pentarchy would later wipe out several chapters was as a result of this, as a majority of the combatants they would fight were newly-raised initiates or inexperienced battle-brothers, with perhaps an experienced Astartes per fifty initiates. However, while the Purge did succeed in securing the loyalty of the five chapters, the sudden outburst into launching two chapters’ worth of Astartes into the Halo Stars, with this mixed and matched force bringing the ire of the Inquisition, along with the withholding of gene-seed tithes and lack of output from the local Forge Worlds. Everything pointed to rebellion. The Charnel Guard, a loyalist chapter would hear of this, and as the closest deployed force, two companies would depart to investigate the actions in the Palatine Sector. However, when they attempted to bypass the planet of Mortalis Lux, only to be fired upon by the fleet of the Guardians of Linaur. With the treachery made clear, the two companies retreated, and the Charnel Guard established a cordon on the warp lane between the Conaeries System and Segmentum Solar. The False Primarch would attempt to contact the cordon fleet, claiming the same fable to the stalwart Guard, asking for their forgiveness and permission to depart to Terra. A willful Charnel Guard Captain, his name now lost, refused, informing that he does not need to go to the Emperor, for the Emperor’s Fist comes for him.
II - The Pentarchy is Born
A call was made by the High Lords, answered by only four with a fifth arriving late. The Red Talons, Flesh Eaters, Charnel Guard, Death Eagles and Carcharodons would in order be those who answered the call for war. In the words of the High Lords; ‘No honour or battle roll will be drawn for you five, no glories will remember your actions but a footnote in records. This oath will be paid only in your blood, with no great deed to remember your greatest by.’ The Pentarchy of Blood was made on the idea that those who participate in this campaign will receive nothing in return - no record to remember them by, only a promise of blood from the High Lords. The five chapter masters agreed, and departed Sol to meet with the rest of the Charnel Guard at the Conaeries Cordon. A fleet of several thousand strong Astartes would take to the stars, grim-faced and oathbound to succeed in the bloody deed of ending this false son claiming to be one of His greatest warriors, akin to the mighty Roboute Guilliman, or Rogal Dorn, this blight upon Imperial glory would not be tolerated and would not be remembered by those who come after.
The force would be placed under the command of Charnel Guard Chapter Master Alexian Tumnar, with a council being established underneath the chapter master including the command staff of the five chapters and it’s chapter masters. The Pentarchy would encounter the traitors in the battle of the Conaeries System.
III - Battle for Mortalis Lux
The Pentarchy would split on their entry to the Palatine Sector, two chapters and a nearby Imperial Navy battlegroup taking the longer route to rally at Hellion Sector, intent on striking the traitors from a second direction while the Charnel Guard, Flesh Eaters, and Red Talons engage with the Guardians of Linaur upon immediately entering the range of the Conaeries Star. Two-hundred warships, mainly picket ships escorting larger warships would meet the primary invasion force, an echo of how much war material and how many heretics. the False Primarch managed to rally to his cause. The starships of Commander Tumnar’s navy would engage in bloody point-blank combat against a far larger, though lacking the same firepower the force of seven battle barges and their respective chapter fleets would bring. The opening stages of the war saw dozens of traitor ships destroyed by the entering Pentarchy fleet around Conaeries, while the rest of the traitor navy would reform and withdraw to orbit of Mortalis Lux, as the chapter fleet of the Guardians entered the fray. Four companies, including Chapter Master Helgol would engage in a series of boarding actions against the Red Talons - while six companies manned the orbital defense platforms of Mortalis Lux, and the planet below. The Flesh Eater fleet would be dedicated to dismantling and destroying the orbital stations while their Astartes payload would be unleashed on the fortifications of the planet below. The Charnel Guard fleet along with tagged along ships from Segmentum Solar would make up the primary force to fight the naval war around the star.
III - Fall of the Guardians
The outcome of the twenty-day long battle prove a disaster for the traitor forces, as a large portion of their naval strength along with an entire chapter had been destroyed, at the cost of several loyalist starships. In perhaps a grim sense of honour, Red Talon Chapter Master Curtok Mor would carve the name of the Guardians’ chapter master into his gauntlet, having personally slain him aboard his own flagship, the Blood-Wrought. Helgol’s four companies were encircled and destroyed after managing to detonate the battle barge Autek’s Stand and several strike cruisers, costing the Red Talons invaluable ships, thousands of mortal crew, a cadre of Mechanicus adepts, and nearly two companies of Astartes. The Flesh Eaters would fight a brutal, terrifying battle in orbit and on Mortalis. They would seemingly succumb in part to the Black Rage, as the Death Company of the Flesh Eaters would be unleashed on the unsuspecting world - tens of thousands of mortals died manning their posts, while three companies of Guardians fell in orbit, another three including the wounded in their fortified bunker complex on the dead world. Once the black deed was done, the fleet would bombard the planet from orbit, wiping out anything left with the Life-Eater Virus. The orbital stations would be destabilized, and sent to burn up and crash into the world below. Mortalis Lux would be reduced to little more than a husk once more. The loyalists would pay some respects to the hard-fought Guardians, but would take their ships, artifacts and vehicles and establish them in orbit along with the remains of the four companies who boarded the Talons: coffin ships. The rallied chapters would move on.